The Kalamazoo Wings kicked off the home portion of their 2016-17 campaign on Friday night against their most celebrated rival, the Fort Wayne Komets.
With the K-Wings outshooting the Komets 34-28 and having six power play chances to the Komets one, things seemed to be on the K-Wings side. However, it was the Komets heading home with a 2-1 victory.
The Komets scored the only goal of the opening period as David Friedmann scored his first of the season. Cody Sol started the scoring opportunity by taking a shot that bounced off the pads of K-Wings goaltender Joel Martin and right to Friedmann to give the Komets a 1-0 lead.
Outshooting the Komets 10-6 in the middle period, the K-Wings were unable to break the hold Pat Nagle had on the goal crease for the Komets. The score remained 1-0 to end the period.
Adding to their lead midway into the third period, Kyle Thomas was able to get the puck past Martin for a 2-0 lead.
Attempting a comeback later in the period, Charlie Vasaturo put the K-Wings on the board with a wrist shot that passed over the glove of Nagle. The K-Wings pulled Martin for an extra attacker and made it exciting with a series of attempts around goal, but none of them crossed the goal for the home team as the Komets won 2-1.
In a rematch of the night before, the two teams met again on Saturday night at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.
A total of 32 shots in the first period, 20 by the Komets, did not yield a single goal as the period ended as it began with a 0-0 tie.
Everything changed in the second period, however.
Justin Taylor tipped in a shot by Charlie Vasaturo to give the K-Wings a 1-0 lead just under five minutes into the second period.
The K-Wings added to their lead fourteen minutes later as Tyler Biggs scored his first of the season for a 2-0 K-Wings lead.
Just thirty-two seconds later, Scott Henegar was able to push a loose puck into the net for his second goal of the season to give the K-Wings a 3- 0 lead after the first two periods..
Finding the back of the net midway through the third period, David Friedmann hammered a one timer off a feed from Kyle Thomas to cut the K-Wings lead to 3-1. It was Friedmann’s second goal in as many nights against the K-Wings.
With the K-Wings going on the penalty kill late in the period, the Komets pulled their goaltender to give them a six-on-four power play advantage.
Not deterred by the events, Eric Kattelus corralled the puck along the wall and sent it off the glass in his own end and into the empty net at the end of the ice, giving the K-Wings a 4-1 victory.
In the victory, Riopel made 41 saves and registered an assist on the Kattelus game-clinching goal.
The Kalamazoo Wings return home on Friday, October 28th to host “Green vs. Blue” night, presented by Kalsee Credit Union. In celebration of the college football game that captivates the state, fans are encouraged to come to the game dressed in their green and white or maize and blue. Upon arrival, those in attendance will select to receive either a green or blue fleece blanket, provided by Kalsee Credit Union.
The Annual Orange Ice Game will be played on Sunday, October 30th as the K-Wings host the Allen Americans. Meijer food truck will be at Wings Event Center parking lot serving complimentary cider and donuts. There will be Trick-or-Treating in the Wings Event Center concourse as well. There will be lots of fun Halloween activities for the kids to enjoy and don’t forget to dress in your best costume to join our costume contest for a chance to win a fabulous prize!
K-Wings News and Notes
Kalamazoo went 0/5 on the power play and have started the season 0/22 with the man advantage. Ropel’s shutout streak was snapped at 110:50. Kalamazoo’s three second-period goals were the most they’ve scored in a single period all season. Kalamazoo is 1-1-0 against Fort Wayne on the season.
Submitted by Mark McGlothlen